"The skin is our largest organ and the barrier protecting the cells and mechanisms inside our bodies from the outside world." (Looking After Our Skin)
"Risk factors for skin health:
• Friction – caused by the skin being dragged across a surface
• Shear Forces – causing distortion of the cells of the skin and thereby affecting the ability of the cells to function healthily (see reverse page)
• Moisture – in the same way that our skin becomes discoloured and distorted when we have been in the bath or shower for too long, perspiration build up can lead to maceration and excoriation of the skin, and consequently place it at more risk of damage
• Temperature – placing the skin in a cold environment leads to capillary closure which will restrict the supply of nutrients to the cells of the skin. Conversely, raising the temperature of the skin leads to greater demands for nutrients and oxygen, and results in greater amounts of waste materials to be disposed of (1o C increase leads to 13% higher metabolic demand!)
• Air flow – the combination of air flow across the skin surface, and the insulating effects of air contained within clothing or support surfaces, have major impacts on the above two effects, moisture and temperature" (Looking After Our Skin)
"The forces of Pressure, Shear, and Friction are individually and collectively potential causes of damage to skin, but are also important elements of keeping us in our seats!"(Looking After Our Skin)
"A pressure ulcer is localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear. " (Pressure Ulcers: Just the facts!)
The Pan Pacific Clinical Practice Guideline for the Prevention and Management of Pressure Injury "offers recommendations to help health care professionals provide quality care for patients of all ages and across a range of health care settings, such as acute care, post-acute care, community settings and long term care." (Pan Pacific Clinical Practice Guideline for the Prevention and Management of Pressure Injury - Abridged Guidelines)
CLICK HERE to read full guidelines.
Recommended additional reading:
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